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Title: Structural phase transitions and topological defects in ion Coulomb crystals

We use laser-cooled ion Coulomb crystals in the well-controlled environment of a harmonic radiofrequency ion trap to investigate phase transitions and defect formation. Topological defects in ion Coulomb crystals (kinks) have been recently proposed for studies of nonlinear physics with solitons and as carriers of quantum information. Defects form when a symmetry breaking phase transition is crossed non-adiabatically. For a second order phase transition, the Kibble-Zurek mechanism predicts that the formation of these defects follows a power law scaling in the rate of the transition. We demonstrate a scaling of defect density and describe kink dynamics and stability. We further discuss the implementation of mass defects and electric fields as first steps toward controlled kink preparation and manipulation.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [1]
  1. Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig (Germany)
  2. Institute of Quantum Physics, Ulm Univ., Ulm (Germany)
  3. Center for Integrated Quantum Science and Technology, Ulm Univ., Ulm, (Germany):Institute for Theoretical Physics, Ulm Univ.,Ulm, (Germany)
  4. Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Givat Ram (Israel)
  5. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  6. Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1164430
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-14-28965
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS ION COULOMB CRYSTALS; KINK SOLUTIONS; TOPOLOGICAL DEFECTS; KIBBLE-ZUREK MECHANISM